to not understand why anyone would want a civil partnership?

(390 Posts)

I've been wondering this because of all the media coverage of the equal marriage bill. Civil partnerships were brought in as a sop to gay people who wanted to get married - hopefully soon they will be able to marry just as straight couples can. And I agree that everyone should be treated equally so if civil partnerships remain for gay couples then straight couples should be allowed to have them as well.

But wouldn't it make more sense to do away with civil partnerships altogether? I don't understand why someone would choose a CP over marriage - as I understand it it's the same commitment but with fewer legal rights. Can someone explain this please?

Peevish Mon 20-May-13 10:57:50

What seeker, scarlet and motherinferior said. I am actually married - rather reluctant lunchtime quickie just before i gave birth to sort out legalities - but would have chosen a CP like a shot if available.

Fuckwittery Mon 20-May-13 11:03:46

crap Read those 7 issues carefully. Civil partners do have the virtually same rights on as those who are married, particularly on separation, the differences listed are not issues which are going to automatically change by turning CPs into marriage or they ar\e fundamental to the CP vs marriage, so not really relevant to the argument that marriage in itself will increase legal rights. I believe in marriage for all, but just pointing out that there are a huge raft of legal rights introduced in 2004 which are virtually identical for those in marriages - those issues that remain are part of the "difference" if you like. e.g. cultural perception and other countries recognising same sex couples for immigration purposes, and that straight people can't enter into CPs.

www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/17/gay-marriage-civil-partnerships read the first para |"is there a legal difference between the two|"

Bunbaker Mon 20-May-13 11:09:21

"Because I want the legal benefits of being married, without the religious connotations"

Not all weddings are religious. Most married people I know are atheists. I don't have a problem with being a "wife".

Like Clouds my marriage is nothing to do with religion or mysogyny. We are married because civil partnerships didn't exist when we got married.

This will get me flamed but I think too many people overthink the history and the baggage behind marriage. I got married in the 20th century with 20th century attitudes. I didn't "obey" my husband. I only wear a wedding ring because he does. If he had refused to wear one I would have done as well.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 20-May-13 11:15:53

Much as I agree with most of your post Bunbaker, don't you see the massive contradiction you have just made? grin

MrsSchadenfreude Mon 20-May-13 11:29:19

I think they should be available to all, as they are in France. (In France you can have a CP - be "paxed" - and then go on to get married if you so wish.) I got married relatively young, and had the big white wedding, bridesmaids, the whole shebang. If I were to do it now, I would much prefer something low key, and not be "given away" by my father. There is something quite wrong with the concept, I think now, which clearly wasn't obvious to me when I was in my 20s.

Dawndonna Mon 20-May-13 11:36:56

I've been with dh 20 years. Had we a choice we would have gone for partnership rather than marriage. Don't like all the religious or ownership connotations that go along with marriage, including the civil marriage ceremony.

flanbase Mon 20-May-13 11:50:01

why not just have marriage for all who want to get married. I don't see the point of having two systems that are the same

Solari Mon 20-May-13 11:52:42

I'm curious about how marriage has misogynistic roots? Not in a confrontational way, I'd genuinely like to know.

I've been trying to think of how, but all that's coming to mind is the "Love, honour, obey" line, which I do think is awful.

motherinferior Mon 20-May-13 11:53:27

Er...handing over a woman from the ownership of one man to another?

StuntGirl Mon 20-May-13 11:55:00

What seeker said. And scarlet, and mother inferior.

I didn't actually realise until the gay marriage furore that marriage is legally defined as between a man and a woman. I thought marriage was that ceremony two people did when they were in love, and the fact gay people couldn't get married was a nasty throwback to a more bigoted era.

The fact we are legally and cultrually enshrining one set of people's rights while stomping on anothers makes me sad. If I were to enter into a legally recognised partnership, I wouldn't want it to be one with a history of misogyny, hatred and discrimination.

motherinferior Mon 20-May-13 11:57:55

Also, I don't want my relationship registered. I can see the usefulness of sorting out some legal and contractual stuff, but marriage is all associated with Love and Togetherness and Being Together For Ever and similar slightly nausea-inducing things.

Decoy Mon 20-May-13 11:58:04

> handing over a woman from the ownership of one man to another?

That was the case at one point, but go back even further and it wasn't like that at all, it was the simple joining together of two people.

scarletcrossbones Mon 20-May-13 11:59:57

Flanbase, because not everyone wants to get married. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't be afforded legal protection.

I've been in a relationship with DP for 15 years.
If he were critically ill in hospital, I would have no say in his treatment. His mother could choose to switch off his life support machine when I opposed it.

And he would have no say in the hospital treatment of our children.
I could unilaterally choose to turn off the life support machine of one of our DC when he opposed it.

We shouldn't have to get married to address these injustices!

Solari Mon 20-May-13 11:59:58

I don't see how the woman is handed into ownership (unless there really is something I'm missing, perfectly prepared to be told so).

Providing she agrees to marriage of her own accord (or instigates it), there is an exchanging of vows and rings, and a promise made between both parties. I would see it different if just the woman was made to wear a ring, make vows etc. But it seems like a joint endeavour?

scarletcrossbones Mon 20-May-13 12:04:06

"Who gives this woman to be married to this man?"

StuntGirl Mon 20-May-13 12:05:06

Because historically thats what marriage was. We've simply changed what we say some things mean now, but the roots are in misogyny, we just call it by another name.

flanbase Mon 20-May-13 12:05:18

scarlet - is this said in a registery office?

2rebecca Mon 20-May-13 12:08:23

I don't see the point of both, if gay couples can marry there is then no need for civil partnership, if you don't want the religious bit just have a civil wedding, it only takes 15 minutes.

Solari Mon 20-May-13 12:09:30

scarletcrossbones

That's true, I totally forgot about that line too (had custom speech/vows at my non-church wedding).

But I'm not sure the actual practice of marriage could be seen as misogynistic? Certainly those lines are (but not compulsory in all weddings, and thankfully falling out of favour).

Solari Mon 20-May-13 12:11:53

Also, I'm not sure how on marriage stemming through eras of time that were undoubtedly misogynistic makes marriage itself misogynistic... more like it took on the flavours of the time?

But surely those things can be scraped away (inappropriate lines, handing over from father etc.), and the core meaning retained? Ie. the joining of two partners, both willingly and with common goals/vows in mind.

scarletcrossbones Mon 20-May-13 12:14:09

Flan - I don't know, sorry.

Look, I just think that every option should be available to those who want them, as we all have wildly differing views on our lifelong (or not) partnerships:

If you're into traditional marriage, want to be handed over from your dad to your husband and take his name then fine, that's up to you.

If you want to redefine marriage on your own terms and be a "modern" wife, have no trouble with the historical baggage/associations and are doing marriage your own way, then fine.

If, like me, you struggle with the idea of being a wife, definitely don't want marriage at all, but would like legal recognition, then bloody fine!

Why the hell not? grin

meddie Mon 20-May-13 12:14:18

Maybe not so much in the current day and age Solari. But historically a woman was consider the property of her father and he gave her away into the ownership of her husband, she had few rights.
She was often not married for love ( thats a fairly modern thing) but was married off to protect wealth, for social advantage and benefit to her family. She had very little choice and 'making a good advantageous match' was paramount as she often had little wealth of her own unless there were no males heirs.

scarletcrossbones Mon 20-May-13 12:15:54

x-posts Solari, sorry.

I totally see where you're coming from with your last post, but still think there should be an option for simply: partner and partner.

Not husband and wife if you don't want to be!

flanbase Mon 20-May-13 12:17:21

check out a registry office wedding Scarlet - doesn't seem to involve any ownership words on the woman.

Damnautocorrect Mon 20-May-13 12:17:49

I have absolutely no interest in getting or being married, but obviously there's certain legalities that need to be in place and a civil partnership would easily resolve that for us.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now